21 March 2011

Another bland new church in Rome

The Holy Father dedicated a new Roman church yesterday.  From this clip he seemed to do it very well. But it also seems that it is one more bland church building in the suburbs of Rome.



5 comments:

  1. Rich people do not live in the Roman suburbs, so you can't expect much. There is much to decorate still. It is also a church that is meant to emphasize the assembly as it's most important center. Today we get churches where the sanctuary is no longer clearly separated. I suppose it means that "we all celebrate the Eucharist", "unlike before, where only the priest did"

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  2. Yes, the church looks like a conference room in a hotel. I've seen plenty of other churches like this in W. Europe and North America. Let me give you the N. American cheap church experience.

    Cost is a huge factor. Demography is another. For example, many Catholics in the US have moved out of the "traditionally" Catholic parts of the country (New York/New England, California) and into places that were formerly Protestant strongholds (the South). In the Northeast USA there are still many splendid parish churches, some of which are 200+ years old, which is significant for North America. The churches in the South tend to be post-conciliar "donut churches", bland round cookie-cutter churches with exposed brick interiors, little ornamentation, and no sanctuary (a sanctuary cuts down on pew space). These churches were thrown up in a hurry to accommodate large influxes of Catholics into a particular region. They're ahistorical, aliturgical, and just butt-ugly, but they are usually packed for Mass on Sunday because it might be the only Catholic church for a twenty-plus mile radius. In New England, it is not uncommon to have two or more "traditional" 19th century Catholic churches in the same town!

    So, cut the parish some slack. Personally, I think some of these churches should be razed forthwith, but it's better than hearing Mass in a gym or a school cafeteria!

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  3. One doesn't have to go to the south to see ugly Walmart-style churches. I've lived and traveled all over America. Since the 60s, these glorified public toilets which pass for sanctuaries have become the rule and not the exception.

    Of course, costs have to be kept in check for poorer parishes, but many towns have have affluent congregations which spend more on the rectory and the parochial school than they do on God's house. If you play in a garage, eat regularly in a drive-in diner, and live in a Jerry-built post modernist house or apartment, after a while your sights won't be set much higher when it comes to where you want to worship.

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  4. It'll be another good monument to this era in Church history for future generations to consider.

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